Do globular clusters possess Dark Matter halos? A case study in NGC 2419
We use recently published measurements of the kinematics, surface brightness and stellar mass-to-light ratio of the globular cluster NGC 2419 to examine the possibility that this Galactic halo satellite is embedded in a low-mass dark matter halo. NGC 2419 is a promising target for such a study, since its extreme Galactocentric distance and large mass would have greatly facilitated the retention of dark matter. A Markov-Chain Monte Carlo approach is used to investigate composite dynamical models containing a stellar and a dark matter component. We find that it is unlikely that a significant amount of dark matter (less than approx. 6% of the luminous mass inside the tidal limit of the cluster) can be present if the stars follow an anisotropic Michie model and the dark matter a double power law model. However, we find that more general models, derived using a new technique we have developed to compute non-parametric solutions to the spherical Jeans equation, suggest the presence of a significant dark matter fraction (approximately twice the stellar mass). Thus the presence of a dark matter halo around NGC 2419 cannot be fully ruled out at present, yet any dark matter within the 10 arcmin visible extent of the cluster must be highly concentrated and cannot exceed 1.1x10^6 Solar masses (99% confidence), in stark contrast to expectations for a plausible progenitor halo of this structure.