In The Conversation, collaborating with the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, they have discovered a solar system with an exoplanet that meets a coincidence that had not been confirmed until now: the planet looks a lot like Jupiter and orbits a white dwarf. It could very well be our solar system in a few billion years.
If that exoplanet has survived, Jupiter can also
We can define white dwarfs as the “corpses” of stars like the Sun. When the life of these stars comes to an end they become red giants that swallow all the planets orbiting closer, disintegrating them. Finally the stars are deshinchan into a white dwarf and only those planets that were further away survive.
In the case of the recently discovered system, the Jupiter-like planet has narrowly been saved. If its orbit had been closer to the star, it would also have been scorched. But whoever was able to escape has shown his discoverers that planets like Jupiter will be able to survive the red giant that the Sun is going to become five billion years from now.
The worst part will be taken by Mercury, Venus and probably the Earth, which will end up being swallowed up by the giant ball of gases that will be our dying Sun before also becoming a white dwarf. The inner solar system will cease to exist, but Jupiter (and the rest of the gaseous planets) will persist. Just like we just saw with this other star system.
By the way, that does not mean that we still have five billion years to escape this solar system in search of another planet to live on. We have “only” a billion years before the Sun’s brightness has risen so much that life on Earth is unsustainable.