Despite what’s been portrayed in Armageddon-type movies, there’s little that can be done to stop asteroids, meteors and other forms of space debris from entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

But that’s no reason to panic, says one expert.

Martin Connors told CTV’s Canada AM on Monday that while the meteor that exploded over Russia last week was the biggest the world had seen in roughly a century, it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

“Getting a nice big meteor coming in -- and a big bang and possible effects like shock waves-- that’s fairly common, maybe one a year,” said Connor, who’s a professor at the Centre for Science at Athabasca University and a world-renowned expert in asteroids and near-earth objects.

Connor said smaller meteors, like the one witnessed on Friday, are very difficult to spot and move into the Earth’s atmosphere a rapid pace.

Pointing to 143,000-ton asteroid that whizzed past Earth, coincidently also on Friday, Connor said it was only discovered by scientists a year earlier, leaving “not much lead time.”

“We think that we have nailed down most of the very big ones that could potentially be hazardous,” he said. “I’m happy to tell you that on the list right now there is no danger from the really big ones that would make (Friday’s meteor) look like just a little firecracker.”

Asked if more public awareness is needed regarding the potential dangers in space, Connor said it may lead to unnecessary panic.

“I think that compared to other hazardous, if you just slow down a little bit in your car you’ll affect you’re longevity more so than if you sit and worry about the sky falling,” he said.

“It’s hard to really say what we should be aware of,” Connor continued. “These are things that could happen in nature. You could get struck by lightning, but what you can do about it is very hard to say.”

Meanwhile, scientists say they have found more than 50 tiny fragments from the meteor that exploded over Russia’s Ural Mountains.

Experts from Urals Federal University said Monday that the meteorites plucked from the ice-covered Chebarkul Lake are all less than a centimetre long.

NASA estimates that when the meteor entered the atmosphere over Alaska, it weighed 10,000 tons, was approximately 55-feet in diameter and exploded with the force of 500 kilotons of energy – or 20 atomic bombs.

Local residents report seeing a large meteorite fall into the lake on Friday, leaving behind a 20-foot-wide hole in the ice. Scientists say a meteorite up to 50-60 centimeters could eventually be found in the water.

With files from The Associated Press