Mythbusting: Nvidia debunks lunar landing conspiracy

As an awesome demonstration of its newest graphics cards, Nvidia has put together a simulation to debunk longtime accusations that the 1969 moon landing was a hoax.

For years conspiracy theorists have held that a careful analysis of the photographs and videos from the Apollo 11 lunar landing reveals that it must have been faked in a studio as part of a propaganda war against the rival Soviet space program. Theories cite clues like apparent multiple light sources, the lack of stars, and the flag waving in a vacuum.

In order to demonstrate the power of its new Maxwell graphics cards, the engineers at Nvidia set out to simulate the landing as accurately as possible so that they could reproduce the famous picture of Buzz Aldrin descending to the lunar surface. Doubters have claimed that Aldrin is too well-lit in the capsule’s shadow, implying the presence of a light source other than the sun.

Nvidia modeled the scene in Unreal Engine 4, focusing on the precise, reflective properties of the capsule, the lunar surface, and the astronauts’ suits. The Maxwell architecture allowed the engineers to simulate with unprecedented accuracy the reflections off of every surface in real time with global, voxel-based illumination. Even taking that into account, though, the image wasn’t quite right. Nvidia’s breakthrough came when they realized that Neil Armstrong taking the picture in his bright, white suit was exactly the missing reflector they needed to almost perfectly reproduce the fraught image.

All of the accusations have been quite thoroughly debunked over the years (including by the master debunkers themselves, the Mythbusters), but as Nvidia’s Senior Director of Content Development, Mark Daly, points out in the video, it’s tough to prove a negative. This cool tech demo adds more weight to the side of believers, but of course you should feel free to remain skeptical. Just don’t mention it to Buzz Aldrin.

Product Review

The Asus ProArt PA90's steam engine design speeds past the trashcan Mac Pro

It may try to fill the void left by Apple’s aging Mac Pro, but don’t call Asus’ compact ProArt PA90 workstation a trashcan. Though this desktop takes inspiration from the Mac Pro’s minimalist design, it brings its own steam…
Movies & TV

Prime-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite TV series currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Gaming

Get Nindie with it and check out these awesome indie games for the Switch

The Nintendo Switch's portability makes indies feel at home on the platform. Luckily, there are plenty of great titles to choose from. Here are our picks for the best Nintendo Switch indie games.
Computing

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. Our picks for the best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while they're at it.
Gaming

343 Industries says first beta for Halo: Reach on PC will be next week

After a delay, 343 Industries is following through on its promise to send out beta invites for Halo: Reach on PC. Some PC gamers will be getting a first taste of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PC next week.
Gaming

Hey! Listen! Here's the entire Legend of Zelda series ranked from best to worst

The Legend of Zelda series is one of the most iconic video game franchises of all time, featuring more than a handful of the very best games ever made. We ranked all of the games in the series timeline from best to worst.
Gaming

Sony patent for PS5 could eliminate loading screens altogether

Game developers have found ways to mask loading screens, and a new Sony patent for the PS5 could take things another step. This patent shares a method that change how we experience the moment-to-moment traversal in video games.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to the most powerful notebooks in the world.
Computing

HDR monitors are better and more affordable than ever. These are the best ones.

HDR monitors might come at a premium, but if you get the right one for the job it can make movies, games, and even your workday, that little bit prettier. These are our favorite HDR monitors, with something for everyone.
Gaming

Tips and tricks to mastering the hunt in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

If you're planning on playing the Monster Hunter World: Iceborne beta on PS4, check out our beginner's guide for a handful of tips and tricks covering mechanics both old and new. Hoarfrost Reach is dangerous, but you got this.
Computing

Our favorite gaming desktops make the latest consoles look pathetic

PC gaming doesn't always come cheap, but it doesn't have to be extortionate either. In this guide we've put together a list of the best gaming PCs you can buy, with everything from the big and flashy, to the super compact.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Illuminated keyboards and a retro gaming console

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Fortnite PC players may have to upgrade graphics cards once Season 10 kicks in

Epic Games said that Fortnite for PC will no longer support DirectX 10 starting in Season 10. Players will need to have DirectX 11-capable graphics cards to continue playing the Battle Royale shooter.